Himachal Pradesh Speaker Disqualifies Six Congress MLAs for Cross-Voting in RS Election

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania disqualifies six Congress legislators for cross-voting in the recent Rajya Sabha election, altering the House composition. Details on the disqualified MLAs and their impact on the state's political landscape.

Himachal Pradesh Speaker Disqualifies Six Congress MLAs for Cross-Voting in RS Election
Himachal Pradesh Speaker Disqualifies Six Congress MLAs for Cross-Voting in RS Election

National Desk, Feb 29: In a significant political development, the Speaker of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly, Kuldeep Singh Pathania, has taken decisive action by disqualifying six Congress party legislators for their involvement in cross-voting during the recent Rajya Sabha election. This move comes as a response to the BJP emerging victorious in the RS election despite lacking the required numbers in the House, leading to a shift in the state’s political dynamics.

The decision, announced during a press interaction, signifies the application of constitutional provisions under para 2, clause 1, sub-clause A, of the Tenth Schedule. Speaker Pathania declared that the six respondents, including prominent figures like Rajendra Rana, Indra Dutt Lakhanpal, Sudhir Sharma, Devendra Kumar Bhutto, Ravi Thakur, and Chaitanya Sharma, cease to be members of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly with immediate effect.

The disqualification alters the composition of the Himachal Assembly, reducing the total strength to 62 from 68 members. This adjustment affects the working majority figure, shifting it to 32 from 35. The disqualified MLAs’ actions have drawn attention to the delicate balance of power within the state legislature.

The Rajya Sabha election, marred by cross-voting, saw six Congress members and three independent MLAs casting their votes in favor of the BJP candidate, resulting in a tie between the Congress and BJP nominees. This tiebreaker situation led to the BJP candidate’s victory in a draw of lots by the returning officer, intensifying political tensions within the state.

The disqualified MLAs’ actions not only impacted the outcome of the RS election but also raised concerns regarding the stability of the Congress government led by Chief Minister Sukhwinder Sukhu. The BJP capitalized on the situation, questioning the government’s ability to pass crucial legislation such as the budget, which was eventually passed amid turmoil and suspension of BJP MLAs.

The disqualification of the six Congress legislators underscores the Speaker’s commitment to upholding the integrity of the legislative process and maintaining discipline within the House. The decision aims to restore order and strengthen the position of the Sukhu government amidst political upheaval.

As the state grapples with the repercussions of the RS election and subsequent disqualifications, the focus now shifts to the future course of action within the Himachal Pradesh Assembly. The aftermath of this episode is likely to shape the state’s political landscape in the days to come, as stakeholders navigate through challenges and opportunities presented by these developments.

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